An Interview with Mr Leslie Ong, Managing Director of Oracle Singapore by Sharon Lim

Sharon Lim from our ASEAN Campus Recruitment Team had the opportunity to talk with Leslie Ong who is Oracle Singapore's Managing Director. Sharon and Leslie had the opportunity to talk a little bit about Oracle, our Singapore Campus Program and more about Leslie and his career.

Hi Leslie, thanks for taking the time to talk. To start can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

I graduated from Nanyang Technological Institute (NTI) now known as NTU majoring in EEE. Immediately after graduation, I took a job with my Industrial Attachment firm and worked on building automation projects. My biggest project there was developing and implementing a building automation system for PSA building using assembly language programming. 

I was fortunate to find a job within a short period as I graduated in the year in 1985 which happened to be a recession year. I joined Philips Singapore subsequently as an application engineer for test instruments. Soon after, opportunity came by for me to move into HP where I started in Sales for test instruments and later computer systems. I stayed at HP for a very long time and recently joined Oracle.

Why did you choose a career in IT?
I embrace learning and believe that learning doesn’t stop at university. IT is a dynamic and ever changing industry so it is a really exciting field to be in.

Why choose Oracle?
I had spent a long time in HP and did many different roles, the last one managing the servers, storage and network business. An opportunity to work at Oracle came along and I decided to explore it.
I was getting slightly too comfortable at HP and wanted to challenge myself. Oracle, being a huge software company, gave me the chance to learn something new and had decided to take up the challenge.

What is the work culture like in Oracle?

We have a very aggressive culture and tried to out-do our competitors in every sales opportunity that we get. A lot of emphasis is placed on learning as well in Oracle as we are constantly acquiring companies and new products.

Do you have any advice for new graduates?

As a new graduate, you have to ask yourself what do you exactly want to achieve and what do you look for in a company. With that information in mind, attend recruitment talks and ask questions to find out if that’s what you really want. In addition, stay open and don’t close your doors towards new opportunities.

What kind of graduates are Oracle Singapore looking for?

We look for high performing graduates. Academic result is a given. We look for all rounded individuals who show us leadership position and are actively involved in their CCA. Out-going individuals are a plus since as we are a sales organization. Nonetheless, we have other roles as well for example if you are more of the technical sound sort, we would still want you in our sales consulting role or the consulting role. Attitude is the most important.

What kind of career path would a fresh graduate expect?

For a start, you go through a one year rotation to pick up necessary skills where you will be able to showcase yourself. Career development lies in the hands of the individual. If a fresh graduate is willing to expose himself more visible and be ready when opportunities come, then it would be much easier for him to progress in Oracle.

What other activities are you involved in? SCS?

I enjoy a lot of water sports such as wakeboarding, scuba diving. Recently, I have been into triathlons and have started a team in Oracle. I also sit in the Singapore Computer Society executive council which aims to elevate the role of the IT professional. 

We have also been reaching out to campuses to engage students in the earlier stage such that they would consider IT as a promising career path.

How does social networking affect you and work at Oracle?

I keep social networking sites personal and separated from work. In Oracle, I would use our own social tools such as OraTweets (our own twitter client). I do use facebook and LinkedIn for my personal social life.

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